Got word that our Home Study has been approved by GWCA, the final touches were added by our HS Agency and the notarized copies have been dropped in the mail this morning! Things are moving along quite nicely and with any luck I'll be able to get the Fed-ex to USCIS out the door on Friday or Saturday and start the count down for the I-800A. We understand that the average wait time for I800A approval is 60-90 day, plus I don't know where our Federal fingerprinting appointments come into play with these dates either. However, there is still quite a bit more for us to do before our dossier can go to China, we get a Log in Date (LID) and for them to consider us for adoption, What is this I-800A, Home Study, Dossier and LID you ask, well allow me to explain.
Home Study: A social worker compiles a report about your lives covering everything from your up bringing, parenting abilities, financial security, mental and physical health, your home, social life, activities, your reason for wanting to parent, reasons for wanting to parent an adopted child, you knowledge and understanding of possible issues, how you plan to care for the child and so much more. You have to be an open book and share just about everything from the time you fell off your bike when you were four to current days experiences. You must get a physical for you and each member of your family to ensure your in good physical health, get fingerprinted, they must come and inspect your home, meet your kids (Lord knows I prayed they would be the little angels they are), interview you together and then independently. It's intrusive but part of the process. A Home Study can cost between $1500. and $4000.
I-800A: This US Govt. form, accompanied by by the Home Study is sent to USCIS and they review all the information and determine your eligibility to adopt per US standards/requirements. Once approved, this as well as the Home Study goes along with all certified and authenticated Dossier materials and is sent as a complete Dossier to China by our adoption agency.
Dossier: This is the total package that is compiled that goes to China once a family passes their Home Study and gets approval from the US Government to move forward with a foreign adoption. The forms, letters, reports, documents, etc. that are contained within the Dossier have to go to various US Govt. and State Agencies that have to review the information and certify and authenticate them. These same items also need to go to the Chinese consulate for the same type of process. Some of the items included are copies of forms and others must be current originals. Items like birth certificates, marriage licences, letters of reference, State and Federal criminal background and fingerprint checks, local police department letters, letters from your employer verifying your income and work status, family photos and much, much more. The Dossier is used by the CCCWA to determine if you meet the qualifications to adopt and will either approve or deny you once they translate and review the items contained with in. The fee to submit a Dossier to the CCCWA is between $670 and $1190.
LID: The LID or Log in Date is super important,. It is the date that the CCCWA officially puts our completed Dossier into their system to begin their review and determine if they will allow us to adopt from China. After our file is logged in, it will be translated, then reviewed and then they will render their decision on our viability as an adoptive family.